Audrey Hepburn…♥♥♥

ImageAudrey Hepburn (born Audrey Kathleen Ruston; 4 May 1929 – 20 January 1993) was a British actress and humanitarian. Recognised as both a film and fashion icon, Hepburn was active during Hollywood’s Golden Age.. She has since been ranked as the third greatest female screen legend in the history of American cinema and been placed in the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame. In the Italian-set Roman Holiday (1953), Hepburn had her first starring role as Princess Ann, an incognito European princess who, escaping the reins of royalty, falls in love with an American newsman (Gregory Peck).  While producers initially wanted Elizabeth Taylor for the role, director William Wyler was so impressed by Hepburn’s screen test that he cast her in the lead. Wyler later commented, “She had everything I was looking for: charm, innocence, and talent. She also was very funny. She was absolutely enchanting and we said, ‘That’s the girl! Originally, the film was to have had only Gregory Peck’s name above its title, with “Introducing Audrey Hepburn” beneath in smaller font. However, Peck suggested to Wyler that he elevate her to equal billing so that her name appeared before the title and in type as large as his: “You’ve got to change that because she’ll be a big star and I’ll look like a big jerk..Hepburn garnered critical and commercial acclaim for her portrayal, adding to her unexpected Academy Award for Best Actress with her first BAFTA Award for Best British Actress in a Leading Role and only Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama in 1953…Her only film with Cary Grant came in the comic thriller Charade (1963). Hepburn, who plays Regina Lampert, finds herself pursued by several men who chase the fortune her murdered husband had stolen. The role earned her third and final competitive BAFTA Award and accrued another Golden Globe nomination though critic Bosley Crowther was less kind: “Hepburn is cheerfully committed to a mood of how-nuts-can-you-be in an obviously comforting assortment of expensive Givenchy costumes.” Grant (59 years old at the time), who had previously withdrawn from the starring male lead roles in Roman Holiday and Sabrina, was sensitive about the age difference between Hepburn (at age 34) and him, making him uncomfortable about the romantic interplay. To satisfy his concerns, the filmmakers agreed to change the screenplay so that Hepburn’s character would be the one to romantically pursue his.  Grant, however, loved to humour Hepburn and once said, “All I want for Christmas is another picture with Audrey Hepburn.”… From 1967 onward, after fifteen highly successful years in film, Hepburn decided to devote more time to her family and acted only occasionally. She attempted a comeback in 1976, co-starring with Sean Connery, in the period piece Robin and Marian,which was moderately successful. In 1979, Hepburn took the lead role of Elizabeth Roffe in the international production of Bloodline, re-teaming with director Terence Young (Wait Until Dark). She shared top billing with co-stars Alan Arkin, Ben Gazzara, James Mason and Romy Schneider. Author Sidney Sheldon revised his novel when it was reissued to tie into the film, making her character a much older woman to better match the actress’s age.After finishing her last role in a motion picture in 1988, a cameo appearance as an angel in Steven Spielberg’s Always, Hepburn completed only two more entertainment-related projects, both critically acclaimed. Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn was a PBS documentary television series, her final performance before cameras filmed on location in seven countries in the spring and summer of 1990. A one-hour special preceded the series, debuting in March 1991, while the series commenced the day after her death (21 January 1993). For the series’s debut, Hepburn was posthumously awarded the 1993 Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual  Achievement – Informational Programming. Recorded in 1992, her spoken word album, Audrey Hepburn’s Enchanted Tales, features readings of classic children’s stories and earned her a posthumous Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children. She remains one of the few entertainers to win Grammy and Emmy Awards posthumously. In 1952, Hepburn was engaged to the young James Hanson, whom she had known since her London dancing days. She called it “love at first sight”;  however, after having her wedding dress fitted and the date set, she decided the marriage would keep them apart most of the time. She issued a statement about her decision, saying, “When I get married, I want to be really married.”In the early 1950s, she also dated future Hair producer Michael Butler. Hepburn and Gregory Peck bonded during the filming of Roman Holiday (1953) and there were rumours that they were romantically involved; both denied it. Hepburn, however, added, “Actually, you have to be a little bit in love with your leading man and vice versa. If you’re going to portray love, you have to feel it. You can’t do it any other way. But you don’t carry it beyond the set…They did however become lifelong friends. During the filming of Sabrina (1954), Hepburn and the already-married William Holden became romantically involved. She hoped to marry him and have children, but she broke off the relationship when Holden revealed that he had undergone a vasectomy. Although a common perception that Bogart and Hepburn (both starred in Sabrina together) did not get along, Hepburn commented that,  “Sometimes it’s the so-called ‘tough guys’ that are the most tender hearted, as Bogey was with me.” ..ImageHepburn earned her place in the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1961 but her reverence as a fashion icon has continued long since her death, proved by accruing the titles “most beautiful woman of all time” and “most beautiful woman of the 20th century” in polls by Evian and QVC respectively..Despite being far from the Hollywood preference of bosomy actresses like Marilyn Monroe, Martine Carol, Kim Novak and Lana Turner, Hepburn was very feminine by her grace, huge eyes and long legs. Against the gender stereotypes of the time, the natural thickness of her brown eyebrows made her “funny face unforgettable,” reminisced director Billy Wilder. He joked, “This girl…may make bosoms a thing of the past. Hepburn redefined glamour with “elfin” features and a gamine waif-like figure that inspired designs by couturier Hubert de Givenchy who is credited for creating her style.Givenchy started designing her dresses since the film Sabrina (1954). He noted that, upon being told that the actress he would be responsible for many outfits for would be “Miss Hepburn”, When faced with Audrey, he was initially disappointed and told Hepburn he had little time to spare. Nevertheless, she knew exactly how she wanted to look and asked to view his latest collection.Their collaboration in Sabrinaformed a lifelong friendship and partnership; she was often a muse for many of his designs and her style became renowned internationally. She equally inspired fashion photographer  Richard Avedon, who captured an intentionally overexposed close-up of Hepburn’s face in which only her famous features – her eyes, her eyebrows, and her mouth – are visible. “I am, and forever will be, devastated by the gift of Audrey Hepburn before my camera. I cannot lift her to greater heights. She is already there. I can only record. I cannot interpret her. There is no going further than who she is. She has achieved in herself her ultimate portrait.” The “little black dress” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, designed by Givenchy, was sold at a Christie’s auction on 5 December 2006 for £467,200 (approximately $920,000), almost seven times its £70,000 pre-sale estimate..This was the highest price paid for a dress from a film,[115] until it was surpassed by the $4.6 million paid in June 2011 for the Marilyn Monroe “subway dress” from The Seven Year Itch.. The proceeds went to the City of Joy Aid charity to aid underprivileged children in India. The head of the charity said, “there are tears in my eyes. I am absolutely dumbfounded to believe that a piece of cloth which belonged to such a magical actress will now enable me to buy bricks and cement to put the most destitute children in the world into schools.”..However, the dress auctioned by Christie’s was not the one that Hepburn wore in the film.  Of the two dresses that Hepburn did wear, one is held in the Givenchy archives while the other is displayed in the Museum of Costume in Madrid. A subsequent London auction of Hepburn’s film wardrobe in December 2009 raised £270,200 ($437,000), including £60,000 for the black Chantilly lace cocktail gown from How to Steal a Million. Half the proceeds were donated to All Children in School, a joint venture of The Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund and UNICEF…ImageImage

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